Yes! The answer is a resounding yes, Homer is worth visiting. In fact, it’s worth going out of your way to experience this spectacular coastal town on the Kenai Peninsula. These are just a few of the reasons not to miss it.
Sometimes referred to as the “Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea,” there’s nothing like Homer. It enjoys one of the world’s most magical settings. Located near the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula, it delivers magnificent views of Kachemak Bay, the Kenai Mountains, and a number of volcanic peaks across Cook Inlet, including Mount Redoubt, Mount Iliamna, and Mount Augustine.
All the smiles you’re bound to see on the faces of visitors and locals alike might just come thanks to the spectacular views that can be found around nearly every corner, including pebbly beaches that look out to the sparkling bay and snow-capped mountains beyond while colorful peonies dot the landscapes in the summer months.
As soon as you crest Homer Hill on the way into town, the last pullout known as the Homer Baycrest Overlook will literally take your breath away. From here the view of Kachemak Bay seems to stretch endlessly while the mountains and glaciers provide an amazing backdrop. Bishop’s Beach is an idyllic spot to take in a sunrise or enjoy a sunset with warm hues resting above the sapphire waters.
Unlike many Alaska destinations that are described as rough-around-the edges pioneer towns, Homer has a free-spirited feel with locals wearing t-shirts with slogans like “I give hugs for free.” It’s a unique mix of artists and hippies, farmers, bush pilots, and boat captains who coexist peacefully. Not surprisingly, they tend to have a lot of pride when it comes to their home and they also enjoy sharing it with others, providing warm and welcoming hospitality.
Homer is often found on or at the top of lists of the friendliest towns in Alaska and even the entire country. It has a slow-paced atmosphere and an old-fashioned yet progressive feel where you can always find someone to get advice from or lend a helping hand. That extends to the service, in hotels, restaurants, while on excursions, and beyond.
Perhaps the food plays a part in all of those happy faces too. Homer is known for its abundance of fresh, local foods. In the summer, in particular, it’s nearly all local, and in the winter, the local seafood is the primary focus. Known as the world’s halibut fishing capital, there’s plenty on the menu here. Mouthwatering wild-caught Alaskan salmon and fresh seafood like mussels and oysters are common too. In fact, you can even pick up your own down on the Homer Spit above the docks. Or, join a fishing excursion to catch your own meal.
You’ll find some fantastic restaurants here, including The Chart Room at Land’s End Resort. While some eateries, particularly those aimed toward tourists, close down in the summer, it’s open year-round and widely regarded as one of the best in the state. The menu includes lots of wild-caught fish and seafood, with king (or chinook) salmon a favorite. The Alaskan Salmon Filet is one of the most popular dishes, grilled on an Alaskan Alder Wood Plank for a melt-in-your-mouth kind of experience.
Juicy steaks can be enjoyed here too, with AJ’s Old Steakhouse and Tavern a top pick featuring perfectly cooked USDA Prime ribeye, but the halibut fish ‘n chips are memorable too. At Captain Patties, you can bring fish that you catch and have it cooked just right, or choose from one of the many generously sized portions of fresh, local seafood on the menu. One of the best places for breakfast is the Wild Honey Bistro, with everything made from scratch daily, including a wide variety of sweet and savory crepes.
Opportunities for outdoor adventure enjoyed among jaw-dropping scenery are practically endless here, including:
- Tide-pooling (especially popular at Bishop’s Beach during a low tide)
- Hiking (in and around Homer, as well as across the bay at Kachemak Bay State Park)
- Wildlife and whale watching cruises
- Flightseeing (including bear-viewing trips)
Hands down, there is really only one accommodation option that is a true standout, bringing the best views and the most exceptional service, with the town’s amenities, recreational activities, and attractions all close by: Land’s End Resort. Here you’ll be staying on the furthest point of Homer Spit, surrounded by water and mountain views.
It’s the only hotel on the Spit and from the comfort of your incredible space, whether it’s a beachfront room, a cabin, or a luxury four-bedroom home, you’ll have it all. That includes the landscape, the friendly people (including staff who will treat you like family), and the delicious eats with The Chart Room right on-site.